Friday, March 23, 2018

Divorcing couple sent for laughter yoga training


PUNE (MUMBAI): In a unique order by a family court in Pune, a warring couple was recently sent for laughter yoga therapy to help resolve what marriage counselling and mediation failed to do.

Observing that the couple, caught in “acrimonious” divorce proceedings for four years, have “lost their smile and productivity towards future life,” family court Judge Swati Chauhan expounded on the merits of laughter as therapy and directed them to a laughter yoga trainer to attend “art of laughing sessions”.

“Making stressed people laugh is a task which can be discharged only by an expert,” said the Judge. “One such expert is trainer Makarand Tillu of Hasayadan Foundation,” she said. Putting their arguments aside for a moment, the couple agreed to undergo the exercise. “This nuanced exercise may motivate the litigating parties to discard the hurt, pain and worry and facilitate them to take an appropriate decision.”

The couple, parents to a minor child, have a long list of allegations against each other. The court observed that the dispute exposed them and their child to “depression, frustration, stress and anxiety.” Efforts at counselling did not succeed in getting them to consent to any decision about their matrimonial future.

Adopting a different approach when hearing the matter recently, the Judge said, “The known method of dealing with matrimonial litigation is to send the couple for marriage counselling. If there is a psychological issue, they may be referred to a psychologist. If there is an element of some amicable settlement, they may be referred for mediation” to arrive at a conscious and consensual decision over their matrimonial ties now tied up in knots.

Citing research on how laughter alleviates stress and increases well-being and helps focus on solutions and achieve more productive outcomes to problems, the court said they could be motivated to deal with their matrimonial issues peacefully and pragmatically through such laughter training.

The Judge said research shows that laughing together can create amazing connections between people. “Laughing together may help in removing the feeling of strangeness. Among the other benefits of laughing, the primary are reduction in stress hormone levels and trigger for the release of good hormones, the endorphins, which produce a sense of well-being.”

Laughing, she further said, expands the inner walls of the arteries, which increases the ability of blood to flow around the body, and this positive effect lasts for up to 45 minutes after laughter has stopped. In its order, the court said, “The ability to laugh or at least smile when times get tough is the best way to reduce stress. While a little stress actually helps motivate us into action and focus on the problem, laughter helps us focus on the solution.”


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